Galapagos Islands Experience

1nt Quito, 3 nts San Cristobal Island, 3 nts Isabela Island, 1nt Santa Cruz, 1nt Quito

This itinerary tours the Galapagos by visiting three different islands and staying in comfortable hotels whilst taking guided day trips to some incredible locations. It explores some fantastic snorkelling sites and allows you to have some magnificent marine life encounters whilst still having guided tours of several of the islands. Snorkel with the playful and curious sea lions, whilst in the water you may see hammerhead or white tipped reef sharks as well as colourful reef fish.

You will visit the snorkel sites of Kicker Rock and Lava Tunnels, as well as enjoy a guided bike tour of Isabela Island where you may see flamingos, marine iguanas and Darwin's finches as well as view some different ecosystems such as mangrove forests and lagoons and pristine white sand beaches.

You will also hike the Sierra Negra volcano which is at a height of 1,500 metres and has the second largest lave dome in the world. A highlight will be kayaking in the bay where you can see penguins, blue footed boobies, pelicans, turtles and sea lions. To finish visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and learn about the ongoing conservation and management of the Galapagos Islands before taking a hike in a reserve where giant land tortoises roam.

All our trips are tailor-made and this itinerary can be done alone or combines well with our Absolute Ecuador Itinerary or Andean Wildlife Itinerary, or combined with time in a neighbouring country to Ecuador such as Peru or Colombia. Enquire for details.

Price Guide

9 nights from £3,395 per person based on double occupancy

These prices are excluding international flights. Average flight prices vary depending on time of year and can be considerably more expensive at peak times (Christmas, Easter, Summer). Flight routes vary, please contact us for accurate flight pricing for your timings and place of departure.

Day to Day

Below is an example day by day itinerary

Day 1

Met at the international airport in Quito and transferred to your Hotel Patio Andaluz a lovely colonial boutique hotel with large arches and inner courtyards which is in the heart of Quito and walking distance to the main square and other historical sites. Overnight Patio Andaluz.

Day 2

Transferred back to the international airport to take a flight to a morning flight to the island of San Cristobal in the Galapagos Islands. Met on arrival and transferred to the hotel Seaside Inn which is in the hotel of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. In the afternoon head out to a beach called "La Loberia" which is a home for large Galapagos sea lions which can be spotted whilst snorkelling, you may also see them lazing over rocks or just dozing in the sand. Several bird species of interest can also be spotted here including yellow warblers, frigate birds and several species of Darwin's finches. Overnight Seaside Inn (B).

Day 3

Take a boat to Kicker Rock located off the coast of San Cristobal, this is the remains of a lava cone eroded by the sea, two vertical rocks rising 500 ft (150m) above the ocean from a small channel that you can pass through with small boats and sea the tropic birds, frigate birds and boobies that fill the sky here. Snorkelling at Kicker Rock is a chance to see colourful fish and maybe even hammerhead and white tip reef sharks. Overnight Seaside Inn (BL).

Day 4

Today you will take a quick boat ride to the nearby Isla Lobos where you can enjoy a guided tour and observe frigate birds, blue footed boobies, sea lions. Relax on the white coral beaches and have a swim before returning to the hotel. Overnight Seaside Inn (BL).

Day 5

Transfer to Isabela Island where you will stay at the Cormorant Beach House. This is the largest island in the archipelago and where most of the volcanic activity is reported. The island was formed by six shield volcanoes and five of them are still active. In the afternoon you will bike on an exclusive trail along the beautiful coastline where you will see wildlife such as flamingos, marine iguanas and giant tortoises. Starting at the Wall of Tears, a massive wall built with lava rocks, which was built when the island was a penal colony and the prisoners were forced to build a wall to keep them from going mad! You will continue past pristine white sand beaches, mangrove forest and lagoons and enjoy the many herons, flamingos and finches as well as seeing sea lions and marine iguanas. Overnight Cormorant Beach House (B).

Day 6

Take an hour boat ride and snorkel the Lava Tunnels which have been filmed by BBC and National Geographic for their documentaries. The tunnels are a labyrinth of lava arches comprised of crystal clear water full of turtles, eagle rays, sea lions, sharks and more. The turtles navigate their own highway from the mangroves to the open sea through the tunnels. You will snorkel with the turtles and the curious Galapagos penguins playing around you. Overnight Cormorant Beach (B).

Day 7

After breakfast you will depart to the Sierra Negra volcano, the volcano has a high of around 1,500 metres and an outer diameter of approx. 9 kms, making it the second biggest lava dome in the world. After hiking you will have lunch at a local restaurant in the highlands, the owners prepare food on a lava rock grill using organic fruit and vegetables grown locally at their farm. In the afternoon you will enjoy a kayaking tour of the bay where you can observe penguins, blue footed boobies, pelicans, marine iguanas, turtles, sea lions and eagle rays. Then visit Concha and Perla, a small beach where you will take a short walk through mangroves on a boardwalk to turquoise waters where you can snorkel. Overnight Cormorant Beach House (BL).

Day 8

Take a boat to Santa Cruz island where you will stay for the next few nights. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about the many endemic species seen in the wild and about the ongoing conservation and management efforts on the Galapagos islands. In the afternoon you will head to the 'El Chato' Reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz which is home to the famous Galapagos tortoises and see them in the wild as you hike through the beautiful landscape of El Chato. You will also see birds such as pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers, finches and frigate birds which gather to wash salt off their feathers at a freshwater lake. Overnight La Isla (B).

Day 9

After breakfast head back to the airport and take a flight to Quito. Trip ends.

9 nights from
£3,395 excluding flights

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Highlights Include

  • Snorkelling with sea lions and penguins
  • Blue Footed Boobies and Magnificent Frigate Birds
  • Encounter with Wild Giant Tortoises
  • Kayaking in the bay to view wildlife
  • Guided cycle along the lava trails
  • Hiking the Sierra Negra volcano
  • Visiting the Charles Darwin Research Station
  • Snorkelling Lava Tunnels and Kicker Rock
  • Chance of seeing hammerhead and white tip sharks

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